Honda Begins Sales Of The All-New “Grace” Hybrid Sedan

Posted on Dec 3 2014 - 5:18am by Lisa Chan

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today began sales of the all-new Grace hybrid sedan at dealerships across Japan.Being developed as a compact sedan for a new era under the development concept “innovation of the compact sedan,” the all-new Grace fuses together the easy handling and excellent fuel economy of a compact vehicle in 5-number size category and spacious cabin, stately styling, high visibility and tactile qualities and agile driving experience of an upper-middle-class sedan.

Honda-All-New-Grace-Hybrid-Sedan

While a compact sedan, the cabin space for rear seat occupants comes close to that of the Accord Hybrid thanks to Honda’s ingenious packaging developed within a vehicle that features a long wheelbase and stately styling. The combination of high-quality occupant comfort and excellent quietness provides all occupants with a relaxing, enjoyable and comfortable drive.

As for the powertrain, the all-new Grace is equipped with Honda’s SPORT HYBRID i-DCD*1 one-motor hybrid system that enables the driver to start in EV mode and realizes both outstanding fuel economy of 34.4 km/L (JC08mode)*2 , which is the best among all hybrid sedan models*3 in the market, and highly-responsive and dynamic driving performance. Moreover, for the first time as a compact hybrid sedan in 5-number size category*4, the all-new Grace offers a 4WD version in its lineup, enhancing security for customers who drive in colder climates and/or snowy areas while benefiting from the excellent fuel economy that can be achieved only by a hybrid vehicle.

< Passion behind the name of Grace >
The English word “grace” includes the meaning of “elegance” and “kindness.” The name Grace represents the passion of the development team who strived to create a sedan that envelops the time people spend in the vehicle with their loved ones.

*1
i-DCD stands for the “intelligent Dual Clutch Drive.”
*2
HYBRID DX (FF) and HYBRID LX (FF) were tested by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in Japan.
*3
Excluding plug-in hybrid models. Honda internal research (as of October 2014)
*4
Honda internal research (as of October 2014)

< Key features of the all-new Grace >

 Spacious and comfortable cabin and packaging come close to those of an upper-middle sedan

    • Cabin space which is almost as spacious as that of an upper-middle sedan was realized within the easy-to-handle compact body in 5-number size category of the all-new Grace. In addition to its long wheelbase, placing rear seats at the rearmost possible position helped create legroom for rear seat occupants as spacious as that of the Accord Hybrid.
    • While placing rear seats at the rearmost possible position, opening of the rear doors was enlarged to increase the accessibility.
    • The Grace features a large and user-friendly trunk space with a capacity of 430L*5. Despite being a hybrid vehicle, a through-hole to the trunk was made possible by placing a compact design IPU (intelligent power unit) under the floor.
*5
In case of FF vehicle. Including under-floor storage space (4L).
The trunk capacity was measured by Honda using the VDA measuring method.

 Honda SPORT HYBRID i-DCD realizes both No. 1 fuel economy among hybrid sedan models and dynamic driving

  • The all-new Grace is equipped with Honda’s SPORT HYBRID i-DCD that combines a 1.5L Atkinson cycle DOHC i-VTEC engine, 7-speed DCT with built-in high-output motor and the IPU with a built-in lithium-ion battery. With this powertrain, the all-new Grace realizes outstanding fuel economy of 34.4 km/L, which is the best among all hybrid sedan models in the market.
  • For the first time for a compact hybrid sedan, the all-new Grace offers a 4WD version in its series lineup. Through the adoption of a lightweight and compact viscous coupling-type 4WD system, an enhanced security for customers who drive in cold climates and/or snowy areas was provided while benefiting from the excellent fuel economy that can be achieved only by a hybrid vehicle.

 Stately exterior design suitable for a sedan model

    • A compact body with a long enough hood, creates an impression appropriate for the vehicle category. A traditional sedan style with a long wheelbase that expresses the ample size of the vehicle was fused together with a coupe-like elegant form.
    • Honda’s design identity, “Solid Wing Face,” was adopted to emphasize an advanced look and wideness by connecting together the platinum-plated front grille and 4-lamp LED headlights.*6
    • While a compact size sedan, a stately design and high-class look were achieved by connecting the rear combination lamps that extend horizontally to the trunk lid and chrome-plated license plate garnish.
*6
Available for HYBRID LX type and HYBRID EX type

 High-quality and comfortable interior design offers hospitality to all occupants

    • Striving to realize an interior that offers hospitality to all occupants, a sense of high-quality was added to every detail of the interior, such as the instrument panel design that provides the comfort of being enveloped, metallic luster, shapes and figures, tactile quality and needlework of soft pads.
    • Rear seats were developed while paying particular attention to details such as cushion thickness, softness and tactile quality of surface materials and the angle of the backrest. As the result of developing rear seats that have specifications equivalent to that of seats for an upper-class sedan, the all-new Grace features a sofa-like comfortable seat that gives a sense of being embraced.
    • Air conditioning outlet for the rear seat occupants is placed on the back end of the center console. There are a total of three accessary sockets that can be used for charging a smart phone – one for front seat occupants and two*7 for rear seat occupants. As for audio speakers, the all-new Grace features an 8-speaker system that includes a total of four tweeters*7 located in the front of the inner door handle in front and back. Overall, a comfort space that offers full-hearted hospitality to all people in the vehicle was realized.
*7
Available for HYBRID EX type

 Occupant comfort and quietness realized by sheer persistence contribute to a high-quality experience in the vehicle

  • Through the adoption of damper mount architecture that divides input force, the distribution of the load is managed differently depending on the severity of input received. The suspensions realize high-quality occupant comfort.
  • All spaces and gaps where noise could come inside the vehicle are addressed thoroughly. Taking all measures such as optimizing the distribution of noise insulation/absorbing materials and increasing the thickness of the front door glass, this sedan body, with a basic structure that helps achieve quietness, was further perfected to realize excellent quietness to enable the occupants to enjoy a comfortable time in the vehicle.

 Concentrating advanced safety and security features in a compact body

  • The all-new Grace features the Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body that applies Honda’s original G-Force Control Technology (G-CON) to enhance self-protection and make it less aggressive to other vehicles in the event of a collision. The Grace also features the Pedestrian Injury Mitigation Body structure to absorb the impact of a collision in the front part of the body, which is at the highest risk of causing a pedestrian injury in the event of a collision.
  • In the area of active safety, with the goal to prevent an accident before it happens, the all-new Grace features the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system, a Hill-Start Assist function as well as the Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) system that warns vehicles following behind of a sudden stop. These active safety functions are featured as standard equipments on all types.
  • The “safety package” that combines the City-Brake Active system that is designed to help drivers avoid rear-end collisions while driving at the speed of below 30 km/h, with a side curtain airbag system and a front seat i-side airbag system (variable capacity type) is available on certain types.

 All-new Grace with a rotating front passenger seat

  • Leveraging the ease of getting in and out of the all-new Grace, a special needs vehicle equipped with a rotating front passenger seat was added to the lineup.
  • With the smooth rotation of the seat done by an easy lever operation and ample legroom for the passenger during the rotation reduces the burden of getting in and out of the vehicle.